My Aquarium Water Readings

ahpok

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These are my water reading taken 1 week after my new tank of gallon is setup.
Currently there are live plants, balloon ram with oto catfish in my tank

API ammonia strip and 5 in 1 strips test kits were used.

Ammonia - 0.5
General Hardness(GH) - 0
Carbonate(KH) - 0
PH - 6.5
NO2 - 5
NO3 - 160

Is this acceptable? NO3 seems to be pretty high, should I make a 20% water change?
 

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MaximumRide14

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What size tank is it? Having ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate all showing up at once means your tank isn't cycled. No3 is very high, but I would be more concerned with No2 being 5. Ammonia is also toxic. The live plants will overall help with your nitrates, but I would suggest a 30-40% water change now, and smaller but more frequent water changes in the future until ammonia and nitrite get to practically zero and nitrates are in the 20 range.
 
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ahpok

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small tank, approx 2ft.
The tank is probably not cycled properly, I was using prodibio biodigest 3 days ago before fishes are introduced to the tank.
 
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ahpok

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Donthemon said:
Water changes and prime
does prime works with biodigest? or should I stop biodigest when using prime.
 

Momgoose56

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If your NO3 is 160 you need to do a 50% water change today at least. That is a toxic level of nitrates. Recheck the level tomorrow. If it's over 40ppm keep doing daily 50% water changes until its 40ppm then wait a few days and do another 50% change. Optimally, it should be maintained at 20-30. If you do weekly 25% water changes after that you should be fine. You can use Prime at the same time as biodigest.
 
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ahpok

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After a week of water change and prime, here is my tank reading.

Ammonia - 0
General Hardness(GH) - 0
Carbonate(KH) - 0
PH - 6.5
NO2 - 0
NO3 - 40

is KH acceptable for my balloon ram as I read somewhere is should be around 1-8
 

Momgoose56

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ahpok said:
After a week of water change and prime, here is my tank reading.

Ammonia - 0
General Hardness(GH) - 0
Carbonate(KH) - 0
PH - 6.5
NO2 - 0
NO3 - 40

is KH acceptable for my balloon ram as I read somewhere is should be around 1-8
No, a KH of 0 is not okay for any fish.
What is your water source?
Are you using distilled or reverse osmosis (RO) water?
Either your Test kit is corrupted, your water is really bad or you're reading the results wrong.
Where do you live?
Recheck all your parameters. Especially your KH and GH. No fish would survive long with no minerals in the water. That looks like the test you would get from distilled water with some nitrates and vinegar thrown in!
Post a picture of your whole tank and the test strips/vial with the comparison color chart next to it. Something is really weird about the results you're getting.
 

Momgoose56

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You may need to add crushed coral to your substrate. But post those pictures. And get a pic of your tank in bright daylight if you can.
 

DuaneV

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Remember, water change percentages and parameter ppm's are a direct correlation and a simple math equation. If you have 160ppm nitrate and you want it to be 40ppm, then you need to change 75%. At 160ppm, a 30% water change is only going to make it 112ppm (160 times .7).
 
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ahpok

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Momgoose56 said:
No, a KH of 0 is not okay for any fish.
What is your water source?
Are you using distilled or reverse osmosis (RO) water?
Either your Test kit is corrupted, your water is really bad or you're reading the results wrong.
Where do you live?
Recheck all your parameters. Especially your KH and GH. No fish would survive long with no minerals in the water. That looks like the test you would get from distilled water with some nitrates and vinegar thrown in!
Post a picture of your whole tank and the test strips/vial with the comparison color chart next to it. Something is really weird about the results you're getting.
I live in Singapore GMT+8 The photos of tank are taken 5mins ago(0845hrs) with overhead led on & off.

Water source from tap which probably been treated as we can drink directly from tap?

This tank has been setup 2 weeks ago, fishes seems fine and good appetite, with little aggression towards same kind since then.(ie balloon ram)

API 5 in 1 test strip just bought and expiry in 2020. KH/GH has been showing 0 since the previous tests(4 times) as well. (attached latest test photo)

I probably think I know the issue with my tester
the range is too huge for this test strip, probably I will need to get a more detail KH/GH tester.
 

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Momgoose56

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ahpok said:
I probably think I know the issue with my tester
the range is too huge for this test strip, probably I will need to get a more detail KH/GH tester.
I would think that if the range was too high for the tester the colors would be at the dark end. Instead of going out and getting a different test kit, you might call your local water provider and ask them how they treat your water before it comes to you and if you can get a copy of their test results. Apparently 0PUB does use reverse osmosis for about 10% of Singapores water needs and their website says they remineralize the water, treat it with lime to raise the pH and add fluoride and chlorine. Your water test strips show something completely different. It looks like your water is very acidic and contains no minerals at all!
Your tank is beautiful and it would be a shame to have to add crushed coral to your tank (crushed coral would bring your pH up and add calcium to the water).
Are your fish doing well in the tank so far? If so, they may be fine with that water.
Check with your water company about your water source and treatment.
If I were you, I would do another 50% water change in 2 or 3 days then 25% every week thereafter. It looks like your tank is finally cycled so you can probably quit using the biodigest now but test your water before each water change for a month or so just to be sure things are status quo.
Let us know what you find out from your water company. I have to say again, you've really done a brilliant job aquascaping your tank. It's going to be outstanding when your plants grow in more! Please post more pictures as it evolves, okay?
 
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ahpok

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Momgoose56 said:
their website says they remineralize the water, treat it with lime to raise the pH and add fluoride and chlorine.
You are right on this

Thank you all for the great advice and suggestion, my fish is doing fine and active.
I have stop biodigest and will continue to monitor my water parameters closely with water changes

Momgoose56 said:
I have to say again, you've really done a brilliant job aquascaping your tank. It's going to be outstanding when your plants grow in more! Please post more pictures as it evolves, okay?
I will post more pictures in future, thank you.

Information on our water parameters standard on the public domain, if anyone interested. Drinking water straight from our tap.
 

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Very comprehensive report! But see where they say what your total dissolved solids-132 and and your average pH-8.1 are?
That's not the readings you are getting with your test strips!
The total dissolved solids should include minerals (GH) and calcium and carbonates (KH). BUT your test strips indicate that there are not any minerals in your drinking water. This is not good. For humans drinking it OR for fish. Drinking water that acidic will erode teeth enamel, corrode snail and invertebrate shells and will not provide calcium/magnesium needed for normal muscle and heart function unless those elements are obtained somewhere else.
Maybe you DO need to get a different test kit. If you decide to get a new one I strongly recommend a liquid test kit rather that the strips (they are not very accurate and can be corrupted by humidity and air pollutants). I use the API Master test kit but there are many other brands out there. Good Luck and I look forward to seeing more photos of that beautiful aquarium!
 
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ahpok

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its puzzling indeed, will get a new test kit.
 

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Momgoose56 said:
Very comprehensive report! But see where they say what your total dissolved solids-132 and and your average pH-8.1 are?
That's not the readings you are getting with your test strips!
The total dissolved solids should include minerals (GH) and calcium and carbonates (KH). BUT your test strips indicate that there are not any minerals in your drinking water. This is not good. For humans drinking it OR for fish. Drinking water that acidic will erode teeth enamel, corrode snail and invertebrate shells and will not provide calcium/magnesium needed for normal muscle and heart function unless those elements are obtained somewhere else.
Maybe you DO need to get a different test kit. If you decide to get a new one I strongly recommend a liquid test kit rather that the strips (they are not very accurate and can be corrupted by humidity and air pollutants). I use the API Master test kit but there are many other brands out there. Good Luck and I look forward to seeing more photos of that beautiful aquarium!
At the bottom of the report you will see the "total alkalinity" is a range of 6 to 46 and an average of 20 being reported. The "total hardness" is a range of 27 - 160 and an average of 60 being reported.

Taking the lowest values for each, 6ppm alkalinity and 27ppm hardness, the levels aren't likely enough to register on the test strips who's numbers start at 30ppm for GH (hardness) and 40ppm for KH (alkalinity). So anything below would not change the colors of the strips. The long and the short of this is that this water could use help to get those needed minerals and electrolytes back into the water to increase the GH and carbonates to increase KH.

I am not sure what products are available in Singapore for this purpose. I usually try to steer people towards the seachem products like Seachem Replenish or Seachem Equilibrium and the Alkalinity buffer so that a good blend of minerals are provided. I am not sure what you would recommend though Momgoose56 ?

ahpoc, you can click on the blue words above for info on the replenish and equilibrium. The link to the buffer is for an acid buffer and so I will provide you one for the alkalinity buffer here...

Actually, I see the other links aren't Seachem links, so I'll provide you those too. The equilibrium is designed more for a planted tank.



 

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toosie said:
At the bottom of the report you will see the "total alkalinity" is a range of 6 to 46 and an average of 20 being reported. The "total hardness" is a range of 27 - 160 and an average of 60 being reported.

Taking the lowest values for each, 6ppm alkalinity and 27ppm hardness, the levels aren't likely enough to register on the test strips who's numbers start at 30ppm for GH (hardness) and 40ppm for KH (alkalinity). So anything below would not change the colors of the strips. The long and the short of this is that this water could use help to get those needed minerals and electrolytes back into the water to increase the GH and carbonates to increase KH.

I am not sure what products are available in Singapore for this purpose. I usually try to steer people towards the seachem products like Seachem Replenish or Seachem Equilibrium and the Alkalinity buffer so that a good blend of minerals are provided. I am not sure what you would recommend though Momgoose56 ?

ahpoc, you can click on the blue words above for info on the replenish and equilibrium. The link to the buffer is for an acid buffer and so I will provide you one for the alkalinity buffer here...

Actually, I see the other links aren't Seachem links, so I'll provide you those too. The equilibrium is designed more for a planted tank.
Totally right. That may very well be why ahpok's GH/KH are reading 0, I missed those level limits on the strips! Either Equalibrium or Replenish would be fine for supplying the trace minerals, but instead of adding a bottled acid buffer, I'd suggest adding crushed coral, lots of large coral pieces or limestone rock. Approximately 1 pound for every 10 gallons water volume. That way pH would rise slowly and stabilize.
 

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Momgoose56 said:
Totally right. That may very well be why ahpok's GH/KH are reading 0, I missed those level limits on the strips! Either Equalibrium or Replenish would be fine for supplying the trace minerals, but instead of adding a bottled acid buffer, I'd suggest adding crushed coral, lots of large coral pieces or limestone rock. Approximately 1 pound for every 10 gallons water volume. That way pH would rise slowly and stabilize.
I didn't recommend an acid buffer, I recommended the alkaline buffer. The reason I recommend it is to help make water changes easier because leaching products take time to affect the water, and you end up with a big difference between tap and tank waters making water changes more difficult.
 

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